Generally, when we think of leadership, we envision people who have titles stating their leadership positions. What if our title is assistant, intern, quality control person No. 3…etc.? Are we leaders if our titles don’t reflect standard leadership positions? The answer is yes; we are leaders a�� if and when we decide to be, regardless of our roles within our companies. A leader is not a title a�� it’s a way of being that can inspire others and create change. Not everyone is meant to be a CEO, CFO or top management-level executive, but that shouldn’t prevent a person from being a leader.
Now that we know leadership is attainable, we need to recognize that how to get there is a completely different path from one person to the next. There are some core qualities that define a great leader. The rest can be learned, observed, mimicked and molded into our own statements of leadership.
Qualities needed to be a leader:
Having these qualities allows you to build the following skills, which I believe to be essential for success:
- Inspiring Passion
- Listening: As a leader, you will listen to those around you. You reflect what they say and the emotions behind their statements. You will check in and make sure you understood what they said. If you didn’t understand, continue listening and reflecting until it’s 100 percent clear. Then, you share your ideas.A�It isn’t about barking order(s) or who has the most ideas. It isn’t about saying things first so you’re the winner. It’s about listening effectively in order to make the best decisions and also valuing what those around you have to say. Listening and understanding doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what was said. Rather than reacting or being defensive, a much more organic way of thinking and problem-solving opens up when we can listen and suspend judgment.
- Communicating: Leaders are not afraid to speak up when they need to because their voices, along with everyone else’s, matter. Leaders are not just “yes people;” they sometimes say, “Hey, great idea…and I think a different direction could work better…here’s why.” If we feel like just another team member flying under the radar, or someone who typically gets the “participant” award, it may be a new experience for us to speak up and share new ideas.
- Inspiring Passion: Do you have a passion for helping others and being someone who others look up to? Do your aspirations align with having a better workplace, community, society, etc.? Are you genuinely a good person? Then you’re about 90 percent there. Ultimately, the decision to be a leader is up to you. Don’t let an arbitrary role or title ever limit you from sharing your strengths and being the person you wish to see in your leaders. You have it in you.
The newest addition to our business development team, SHIRLEY RODRIGUEZ is also the funniest person she has ever met. When she is not bringing in dollar bills to Parisleaf, she can be found pet-sitting your furry children or painting custom pieces for art lovers.